Wednesday, May 17, 2006


The Google Web Toolkit

Google has just released the Google Web Toolkit (GWT) for the development of rich AJAX aps, free for commercial or noncommercial use. Here are some live GWT examples.

You write the application using GWT's Java framework (using your preferred tools, such as Eclipse). You can run and test it using the JVM. For deployment, the GWT compiler transforms it into HTML plus JavaScript. The big advantage, of course, is that GWT takes care of all the browser quirks.

As Google says, "Writing dynamic web applications today is a tedious and error-prone process; you spend 90% of your time working around subtle incompatabilities between web browsers and platforms".

It would be fabulous if someone would write an Eiffel wrapper for this...


We have Goanna already.
Colin, I guess I missed the part of Goanna that abstracts away browser differences.
I have started the process of adding javascript support to the Goanna Application Library. There are scripts that support popup hyperlinks and rollover tooltips. I've extended Goanna to do Javascript pulldown menus and to activate/deactivate fields based on other fields, but those extensions aren't done in a generic way and won't be added to Goanna any time soon. So far, I've merely added javascript capability as I needed it; I haven't thought much about overall design issues.

The Google AJAX framework binding might be a worthy addition to Goanna, but I think one would have to explore the design issues a bit further first. We need to figure out how to abstract away the complex functionality javascript provides, not just browser differences. I have no immediate need for AJAX so won't be taking this on anytime soon.

Anyway, I think that more fundamental design issues remain in the application library I am working on. As I progress on my web application, I am starting to think that too much of the business logic is in the request processing layer. That business logic should probably be deeper in the application leaving the request processing layer more generic. That's another problem I probably won't address until I complete this version of the application.
As far as Javascript goes, browser differences are already abstracted away by the Sarissa project.
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